Festival Time! - Articles - Soundblab

Festival Time!

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

That's right, festival time will soon be upon us once more and every music mag, paper and weekend supplement will be swaped with the obligatory photos of pretty girls with nice long, blonde hair perched on someone's shoulders waving their arms around (see above).And, if you're anything like me, this sight will fill you with a profound feeling of 'meh'.

Why? Well, have you seen the line up for this year's Glastonbury? Jeeeeezus! U2, Beyonce, Coldplay, Paul Simon, Biffy Clyro, Plan B, Tinie Tempah. Mumford & fucking Sons. Don McLean. Don McLean? Yeah, yeah, I know: Glastonbury's all about the 'experience'. An experience you could easily recreate by sitting in your back garden getting stoned and drinking cider without having to pay through the nose for it and ending up surrounded by crusty-haired twunts in juggler hats. The point is, it's a music festival - it's supposed to be about the music. And the music on offer this year is appallingly safe and middle-of-the-road. Reading and Leeds is marginally better, despite offering almost an entire day of shite emo kiddie punk. And again, in these cash-strapped times, who really wants to part with the best part of £200 for that?

So, with that in mind, if you wanna have the festival 'experience' this year, why not search out some of the less well known festivals where you're not likely to find yourself sitting through a set by Don McLean or 30 Seconds to Mars in the baking heat/squalling rain? Here's a few to check out:

Liverpool Sound City runs from May 19 to 21 as its bill includes Wave Machines, Fucked Up, The View and Clinic. See, that sounds better already, right? The festival's is held at multiple venues and spaces in Liverpool's cultural quarter, while the Hard Days Night Hotel plays host to a musical industry conference. Each night there will be bands, DJs and artists performing at many venues, spaces and clubs throughout the city. There will be dozens of parties and gigs, including an unsigned festival featuring new acts coming into Liverpool from all over the world, and parties hosted by festivals and labels each showcasing some of their biggest names and rising stars. Make sure you check out Kurt Vile & the Violators, Three Trapped Tigers, Yuck, Black Lips, Chain & the Gang and Those Dancing Days.

Friends of Mine, held at breathtaking Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire, runs from May 20 to 22 with a fantastic line-up featuring The Cribs, The Falls, Buzzcocks, Toro Y Moi, Yuck (again), Dutch Uncles, David McAlmont and Factory Floor. Former Smiths sticksman Mike Joyce reckons it's the best festival line-up here's ever seen and who are you to argue?

For another fine time in the countryside, make your way to Apple Tarts at Brogdale Farm, Faversham, Kent, on May 28. Organised by the folk behind East London night Suburban Tarts, this festival promises to be "be the best 24 hours of summer". The line-up includes scuzz n' rollers Swampmeat, East London party staples Sex Beet and the genre-bending Lazarus and the Plane Crash. It's followed by clubnight The Big Apple. Revellers can also enjoy burlesque, a sports day, games, market stalls, local food and Granny Smiths Tea Rooms.

If you fancy something further afield, why not try Berlin Festival, running from September 9 to 10? The German capital is an awesome place to visit at any time of the year, but this way you get to combine sight-seeing with seeing the likes of Suede, Primal Scream, Beirut, Mogwai, Battles, The Drums, Hercules and Love Affair, Health, Wire, Santigold, Rainbow Arabia, Diplo and Yelle. This being Berlin, the festival spirit doesn't end when the bands stop playing. Berlin Music Week Clubnacht is running simultaneously, and Berlin Festival goers will gain free entry to over 30 clubs all over the city. That's two festivals for the price of one!

Comments (12)

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U2, Coldplay and Mumford and Sons in the same place at the same time!! Glastonbury has always had it's fair share of crap bands but since they had that quiet year where tickets didn't sell too well, they've relied on massive pop acts as...

U2, Coldplay and Mumford and Sons in the same place at the same time!! Glastonbury has always had it's fair share of crap bands but since they had that quiet year where tickets didn't sell too well, they've relied on massive pop acts as headliners, such as Beyonce.

Don't get me started on Reading/Leeds, there's more than just one day of crap Emo bands. The main stage line up is awful. My first Reading was 1990, check this out for a line up, http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/reading-90.html I also went to Glastonbury that year and that was great too, The Cure, Happy Mondays...

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It's also a bit of a chicken and egg situation. All the big bands are bland and safe, they get put on at all the festivals, they stay big/get bigger, smaller bands get ignored and the whole situation goes round again. I also hate the...

It's also a bit of a chicken and egg situation. All the big bands are bland and safe, they get put on at all the festivals, they stay big/get bigger, smaller bands get ignored and the whole situation goes round again. I also hate the nostalgia-fest Glasto keeps building. That line up looks like the CD collection of a confused middle-aged dad.

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To be fair to Leeds/Reading, if 90% of your punters are emo-kiddie-punks then you got to provide for them. Never been of course because it sounds like a shit festival.

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I went in 2000 and 2004 and there were some great acts on. I'd say Primal Scream and The White Stripes were two of the best live experiences I've ever had. Been then there was Limp Bizkit and Foo Fighters...

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I was at Leeds in 2002 just for the day and that was a great line up. Things might have changed now but I don't recall there being too many emo kids there. Also didn't My Chemical Romance get bottled off last time. It reminds me of the mid 80s...

I was at Leeds in 2002 just for the day and that was a great line up. Things might have changed now but I don't recall there being too many emo kids there. Also didn't My Chemical Romance get bottled off last time. It reminds me of the mid 80s when the line up got really bad and the Mean Fiddler took over and made it credible again. Time for that to happen again.

Maybe we should post our dream festival line ups from current bands and send it to Melvin Benn or whatever his name is.

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The bulk of the main Glastonbury line up is almost as bad as a jumble sale box of cassette tapes. But I can't wait for Morrissey- the angry, aloof, genius, that he is.... The Coral and The vaccines. I would rather eat Stag Beatles than allow my...

The bulk of the main Glastonbury line up is almost as bad as a jumble sale box of cassette tapes. But I can't wait for Morrissey- the angry, aloof, genius, that he is.... The Coral and The vaccines. I would rather eat Stag Beatles than allow my ears to hear a second of Glasvegas or U2.

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I agree, Kezia. I really Glasvegas don't get really big. we don't need another Razorlight.

Bob, in 2000 it seemed to be a good mix of people but by 2004 there was definitely an invasion of the emo teens going on. God knows what it's like now.

I...

I agree, Kezia. I really Glasvegas don't get really big. we don't need another Razorlight.

Bob, in 2000 it seemed to be a good mix of people but by 2004 there was definitely an invasion of the emo teens going on. God knows what it's like now.

Indietracks is another great festival which sound have been in my article really. Go there. Steam trains and milky-white anemic indie kids trembling under the weight of their backpacks. The Whatevers are playing there - a band people should check out.

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Glavegas are destined to be one of those bands that appear at every Scottish festival, forever alongside the View, no matter how bad they get.

ATP in December is a great line up. Les Savy Fav, Battles, Caribou, Factory Floor and it's all...

Glavegas are destined to be one of those bands that appear at every Scottish festival, forever alongside the View, no matter how bad they get.

ATP in December is a great line up. Les Savy Fav, Battles, Caribou, Factory Floor and it's all indoors.

Reading in the mid 80s was full of metalheads, proper greasers, into Iron Maiden, Saxon and that sort of crap. They catered for them then but Mean Fiddler sorted it out and it became bigger than ever. Time to do the same with the emo crap. Put on a strong line up and it'll sell out, I'd imagine a lot of people don't go because of the emo tag.

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Look at the Reading line up in 1988, http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/reading-88.html One year before Mean Fiddler took over. Look at Saturday!!! Bonnie Tyler, Meat Loaf and Starship, WTF!!

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Wasn't that the year Meat Loaf got pelted with piss?

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